This account was presented publicly at a meeting in the Houses of Parliament in November 2012.
The following is a transcript of Belinda’s account……
Basicallyand all my friends from university had come down to London to get work, and we were all just enjoying being independent, away from our parents. And really my main interest was getting a good career, so I could be independent, saving up for my own house, and hopefully in the future starting a family.
I went to this party in London, which was very usual most weekends. This particular party, where I met Bob, I didn’t know who’s party it was, or any of the people who were going to be there. I have absolutely no idea why I was picked upon. He told me quite early on that he was involved in London Greenpeace, and he told me that he was a vegan. I’d never met anybody who was an activist before, I didn’t really know what that would involve.
I was actually impressed by his high principles. He was very anti-money – he didn’t think money was important, and I admired that. I thought that he had high moral principles, a high moral code, which I myself also feel I have.
He tried to convince me that I should become an anarchist, of which had no interest in whatsoever, because I wanted to get a career and be independent. And because I came from a working class background originally, that’s always been really really important to me – I know what it’s like not to have enough money.
I was not interested at all in that, I was just blindly in love with him really. It was very intense, right from the beginning, and I did feel that we would always be together, and that we had a future together. I thought he was good potential husband and father material really, to be honest.
I respected and admired him even more, after he’d gone. Obviously at first I was devastated, and couldn’t believe that he wasn’t going to get in touch with me, and I wasn’t going to join him wherever he was on the run. But eventually when I did come to terms with it, two or three years later, properly, it just only raised him in my memory as this perfect person who had been taken away from me through circumstances beyond our control.
Five months after he left I gave up my job at the Electricity Board. I’d already turned down the accountancy career when I thought we were going to go on the run together. Which seems absolutely ridiculous now, looking back, but I really was going to do that.
It took me a few years to actually be able to re-enter the workforce. And when I did so I completely changed direction and went into a caring-type profession, in order to really feel that I wasn’t betraying his ideals.
It’s quite shocking to discover that he had already had a career, he already had a wife, he had children, and I had none of that – well, I had a career. But my interpretation of it is that I was there for his gratification really, as a plaything, and it was for very shallow reasons that he stayed with me, rather than deep emotional reasons.
I feel cheated. I feel I was violated, in a cruel way. It’s almost like rape really, when I look back, that’s how I feel the extent of the way I was used. Almost like a prostitute – he had his “real” relationship; he was married with children.
The police authorities are not taking seriously the fact that I went through all that for no reason at all. Perhaps they think I should just get over it, just forget it ever happened, and think it’s not important. But it is important, it’s changed the course of my life. The police, who I always thought would be protecting me, actually did this to me, and I can’t understand why.
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